Man stalked by 14ft shark in terrifying ‘death experiment’
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In what looked like a fit of madness but was actually an attempt to track down a giant shark (which is still pretty crazy), a man got onto a decoy of a shark and went for a swim with some of the toothy denizens of the deep.
It was for the 2014 documentary Air Jaws: Fin of Fury which made up part of the Discovery Channel's Shark Week programming that year.
Searching the coast off South Africa for this massive shark was going to be an undertaking which required ingenuity, and that's where the idea to use something called 'Parthenope' came in.
Parthenope was one of the sirens of Greek mythology and obviously the best choice for a man-made decoy of a 14ft long female great white shark.
The idea was that they'd tow the Parthenope decoy behind a boat while someone on top of it moved around to simulate an actual shark's movements.
The man aboard the decoy was Dickie Chivell, who had the task of moving around on top of the decoy to make it look to sharks in the water as though one of their own was just above them.
On the plus side, Parthenope was shown to be very good at being a decoy that would attract sharks; on the downside that meant the thing in the sea all the sharks were interested in had a human lying on top of it.
At one point, Dickie was stalked by three sharks, with a 14ft female great white, which was exactly the creature Parthenope was attempting to imitate.
They were hoping to attract a large male shark like Colossus, which didn't end up happening, but the crew had to get Dickie out of the water pronto as the large female shark ended up giving the decoy's tail a big bite.
It was an experiment that was trying to lure out Colossus, but one wrong move could have resulted in Dickie's death as he was perilously close to tipping into the water.
Going into shark-infested waters isn't a good idea at the best of times, but shark-infested waters where a large shark is trying to bite the only thing between you and it is even scarier.
While Dickie survived his trip on Parthenope, it's viable to wonder what the plan was for him if Colossus had shown up.
If the massive great white shark had taken an 'interest' in the decoy or tried to bite it with someone still clinging onto it just above the surface of the water, what were they going to do?